Not all divorces are quick and easy. Some divorce cases drag on for a year or more. Between the time when you file a divorce petition and the time the court issues the divorce decree declaring you legally single, all kinds of things can change. Those changes may necessitate you amend your divorce petition. 

Sometimes couples opt not to amend a divorce petition because they fear it will be complicated and time-consuming. However, this does not have to be the case. You may not even need an attorney to amend your divorce petition. A registered legal document assistant (LDA) can help you prepare the documents required. A People’s Choice can help you make the changes you need in the right format to protect your interests and get the job done. Read on to learn more about how to amend a divorce petition in California.

Why People Amend a Divorce Petition

There are a number of reasons you might need to make changes to your divorce petition before it becomes final. Not all of those reasons are negative. Maybe one or both spouses lose their jobs or change jobs. Maybe one of you moves out of the county, necessitating more intervention from the court to ensure that both spouses get their fair share of parenting time with the children. 

Sometimes, you will want to make changes for negative discoveries as well. Maybe your ex shows his or her true colors after you file for divorce. You might find out information that changes what you want to request in terms of division of property or parenting time. These are just some of the reasons that you might want to amend your divorce petition before the divorce becomes final. 

Act Quickly to Amend Your Divorce Petition

In California, you can only amend your divorce petition if your spouse has not yet responded to the petition. Therefore, if circumstances have changed and you decide to amend your petition, you must do it quickly before your spouse submits a response to your original divorce petition. In California, your spouse must respond to the petition within 30 days. As a result, you do not have a lot of time! 

The court will be more likely to accept the amendment if the judge knows that both spouses agree about the amendment. Most judges are unwilling to surprise one spouse with an amended petition. Therefore, you should notify your spouse before you file the amendment form. If possible, both of you should sign it. Should your spouse refuse to sign, you may need to go to court for a hearing to convince the judge to accept the amendment.

Forms Required to Amend a Divorce Petition

People wishing to amend a divorce in California must file Summons FL-110 and Petition FL-110. The forms themselves list other forms that may need to be filed along with FL-110 forms. The best way to complete the required forms accurately and on time is to have an experienced legal document assistant prepare them for you.

Preparing a petition to amend a divorce can be confusing and stressful to do by yourself. However, these forms generally are not so complicated as to justify the expense of hiring a lawyer. As a result, couples may choose to work with a legal document preparer instead. If you plan to divorce without hiring a lawyer, the document preparer can help you meet that goal.

A People’s Choice: Cheaper Than a Lawyer, More Legal Than a Paralegal

Your amendment to your divorce petition will succeed or fail depending on the strength of the forms you submit. A registered legal document assistant (LDA) can help you prepare your amendment to a divorce petition or other family law documents for a lower price than you would have to pay for a lawyer. Contact A People’s Choice about document preparation services for divorce cases.